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Terrelle Pryor: The Best Quarterback in the Bay?


We all know the story.

At the beginning of the Raiders’ 2013 training camp, all eyes were on Matt Flynn. The Raiders were going to be an efficient, if unspectacular, West Coast style offense centered around Darren McFadden. They were going to rely on the quick passing game to mask Flynn’s underwhelming arm; and most importantly, they weren’t going to be competitive.

Then the week 3 preseason match-up vs. the Chicago Bears happened, and the world took notice. Pryor became an almost Tebow-esque figure of polarization; supporters likened him to the recent injection of new-age quarterbacks who had been making waves throughout the league. They had thought– perhaps “hoped” would have been more fitting, at the time– that he could do for the Raiders what Colin Kaepernick had done for the 49ers only a year ago. Skeptics scoffed at the idea that Terrelle Pryor, with his flawed mechanics and questionable ability to read complex NFL defenses, could pioneer a turnaround that would in any way, shape, or form resemble the turnaround made across the bay.

Yet, here we are, going into week 6 of the 2013 NFL season, and all it takes is a quick look at the numbers to see that those hopes may have been rooted in real soil after all.

The biggest knock on Pryor coming into the year was that in order to be a dual-threat option at the quarterback position, you had to be able to run and throw the ball with equal effectiveness. There was no denying his unparalleled athleticism and electric playmaking ability, but huge questions remained regarding his ability to deliver accurate passes, particularly from the pocket. Those doubters have been silenced– because through five weeks, Terrelle Pryor boasts a total completion percentage of 68.3%, a whopping 12.2% advantage over Kaepernick. Kaepernick holds the edge in yards (969-845), but nearly half of that total came in Week 1 and he hasn’t eclipsed 200 yards in any of his 4 games since. For contrast, Pryor has thrown for less than 200 yards only once on the year, demonstrating superior performance on a consistent basis week-to-week.

As for the aforementioned rushing ability: Pryor is still pretty good there, too. He has rushed for 229 yards to Kaepernick’s 154, and packs a 6.2 yard per carry average.

It’s a testament to the ways of the NFL; you never know who is going to emerge and when. You have to expect the unexpected, because those who said a few short months ago that Pryor vs. Kaepernick wouldn’t even be a competition, they were right. Their only misstep was on who would be the victor.

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Tags: AFC West Oakland Raiders Terrelle Pryor

  • Phil Mokate

    Most athletic QB I have seen since Randall Cunningham or Vick when with the Falcons. I watched Cams game last week and TP2 is still faster, but same size. TP2 has it all except experience, and that gets better every game!

  • Fernando Maestas

    Colin also has one more game played over Terrelle this
    season which you can easily give Pryor 200 passing yards and at least 30-50
    rushing if he played vs the Skins plus a possible WIN. Pryor is way more
    balanced as a runner and faster running a 4.3 vs. Colin’s 4.53!; That’s a big difference… believe me, I
    ran a 4.6 and played with a few guys that ran 4.4 and it was a huge difference.
    Athletically, the only thing Colin has over Pryor is that Colin has an arm of a
    MLB pitcher and all Colin’s coaches going back to Reno, tailored their playbook
    around Colin and has been in the Read Option for the past 5-6 years. Pryor ran
    a Pro-style offense and still had great stats playing on a bigger stage (Big
    10) for a D1 school. Colin played in a low D1AA Mountain West where talent is
    few and far between where Boise State was the biggest games played. This year
    is the first year Pryor has been in this style offense and looks way better
    than Colin IMO, especially considering the talent that surrounds the two QBs. Compare
    the rosters and you will see what I am talking about. The Raiders only have 3
    Pro Bowlers from last year, 2 being on special teams (SeaBass, Condo and Reece)
    The 49ers are stacked… any QB should be good in Colin’s situation. I’m glad
    Pryor is a Raider and he is making a lot of players a household names and not
    the other way around. Go Raiders!!!

  • Alexander Sorden

    He gives us a spark! Sign him and build around him with all that money next year! Best player on our team

  • Jacob Steele

    You’re exactly right. I had meant to mention that Pryor not only missed a game, but a game against a vulnerable Washington secondary where it’d be easy to speculate that he would have surpassed his average passing yards. Applying his avg/game would result in right around 1,050 over 5 games, still better than Kaep.

  • Bubba W

    I was not a big Pryor fan but after seeing him work and the dedication he has put in I have come around. Until last week I was concerned with his accuracy but bet he was dialed in last week and it looks like what we thought as weaknesses are no longer weaknesses. As for better than Colin, I do not know but I hope so. Until they both play more games and show how they respond against adversity in game time situations I will hold judgement. I like Pryor and I think he will be one of the raider greats with his passing (fourth highest in the league in pocket passing, who would have thought that two months ago?). Now that QB is solidified next year the front office can focus on the trenches.

  • Bob

    No, Kaep has a better arm.

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  • Jay Ramirez

    C’mon Everyone, if you were a HC in the NFL would you really choose Pryor over Kaep? The difference in stats is because the 49ers actually have a run game so of course Pryor is going to air it out. Why does Kaepernick need to throw for 300 yards every game when he has Gore/Hunter/James running it down the throats of the opposing teams to drain the clock and secure the ball? When he does need to air it out against top flight QBs then he does, he’s proved that this year when they faced Aaron Rodgers and last year facing all of those pass happy teams.

    It’s comparing apples and oranges. Different teams, different strengths, different strategies, different stats.

    I’m a fan of both bay area teams, so I’m not truly biased.